Sometimes, social media is awesome. When I’ve had a really bad day with the twins, reading something positive like this can help to remind me how lucky I am. How blessed I feel. And how ultimately, it’s all totally worth it.
But I can’t deny any longer just how HARD I find it being a parent. How there are days where I feel like I really can’t cope. Days where instead, I can quite easily make a list of the A-Z of the times when parenting [toddlers] SUCKS:
A is for Attention. “Mommy! Mommy! MommyMommymommymommymommy” It doesn’t matter how frazzled your brain feels; be ready to stand to attention for your Master!
B is for Boring. I do feel bad admitting this but I find a lot of parenting mindnumbingly bloody boring! Especially when I’m home with the kids all day. There’s only so many times I can feign enthusiasm for that clever thing they just did.
C is for Curiosity. Ok, now I sound really evil don’t I. The wonder of a child’s curiosity! It’s part of the charm! And it really is, but it’s also the reason why those of us in charge have to have eyes in the backs of our heads. Which can be terrifying and exhausting.
D is for Drained. I sometimes feel like my children are draining every last drop of everything I have to give. Somehow, I keep going, even when it feels like there’s just nothing left.
E is for Expense. Kids cost so much! Even though I have a philosophy of buying second-hand where possible, gratefully accepting hand-me-downs and not spoiling them, I am somehow still completely broke. The cost of nappies and wipes alone is scary!
F is for FFS! Because sometimes parenting is so FRUSTRATING! particularly so for a natural control freak like me.
G is for Grey Hairs. Parenting causes premature and rapid aging. I look permanently haggard these days.
H is for the agony of Hair Cuts. My girls think hair cuts are a form of torture. I also can’t remember the last time I had my own cut, because I apparently don’t matter anymore.
I is for Impatient. Little kids don’t do waiting. “Screw your [insert so-called important task here], I want juice NOW!”
J is for Jealousy. Speaking just of my experience having twins, they fight over things – including me – ALL the time. It gets exhausting constantly breaking up the fights! They don’t do sharing do they, these selfish little creatures!
K is for Knocking things over. Little’uns are so clumsy! Awww, endearing… Until they break something dear to you, or expensive to replace, and then they don’t seem so cute.
L is for Late for everything. It is completely impossible to be on time for ANYTHING! There’s always a last-minute emergency or meltdown to deal with. And so much stuff to pack for any trip outside the house. Blah.
M is for Mess. This is genuinely one of the most difficult things for me. Hubby and I both like a neat and tidy house. We don’t do clutter and we don’t do dirt. And then these two little whirlwinds came flying into our lives and now I spend most of my time cleaning because I’m just not cool enough relax about it.
N is for Noisy. Such little lungs, and yet so much volume! Whether it’s laughing, crying, shouting, screaming or whinging, they only shut up when they’re asleep or watching TV. So I stick them in front of the tele in order to get some peace, but end up feeling guilty then for not being an awesome parent.
O is for Overwhelming. Those first few days and nights after we brought them home were ridiculous. I was supposed to fend for these teeny tiny humans for the rest of my life, with no appropriate training or qualifications??! And still now, I have moments of WHAT THE HELL!
P is for Potty Training. I’m in denial about the whole thing and the girls are nearly two-and-a-half. I don’t think they’re ready, but well-meaning and annoying people keep pressuring me to do it. So I occasionally sit them on the potty and they get up immediately, refusing to stay. Then I realise how stupid the whole thing is when they don’t even know when they’re wet yet and I go back to my instincts: they’re not ready. I just hope it isn’t a battle!
Q is for Quick. How do they move so fast? That heart-wrenching moment when they pull away from your hand and go hurtling towards the lake at the park. That gut-curdling time they let go of your grip and make a run for it at the supermarket, and for a minute you have no idea where they’ve gone. In Toddler Taming, I read that at this age, children have maximum mobility and minimum sense and that is SO accurate.
R is for Relentless, Repetitive and Restricting. The sheer monotony of the days, the way they love to hear you read the same book, or watch the same cartoon over and over and over and over… And the way you no longer have the same level of freedom you used to (though of course, you never appreciated the freedom when you had it. #1stworldproblem I know, but it still makes me feel down sometimes.
S is for Stubborn. A toddler’s favourite word is “NO!” and it never fails to amaze me how little control I can have over someone less than half my size.
T is for Tantrums. Need I say more???
U is for Utterly exhausting. For me, it’s the mental exhaustion I think, rather than physical. Running around after them can be tiring but I know there are many things more physically challenging in this world. Not sure much beats the tiredness associated with parenthood though lol.
V is for Vomit. When they’re babies, it’s not so bad as it’s just milk. Once they’re on the solids… My first experience of caring for the twins when they had a sickie bug scarred me for life. Ick.
W is for Washing. It’s ENDLESS. Call me Cinderella.
X is for Xtra comfy clothing and Xtreme slobathon. All dignity has gone out the window as I live in my onesie and rarely wear make up. It’s not empowering, it’s lazy lol. Ok gimme a break, X was a hard one!
Y is for “Yak!” aka the response to many meals. All that steaming and blending food when weaning made no difference; they still prefer fish fingers and spaghetti hoops ahead of veg.
Z is for Zzzzz or Remember Lie-ins?? Yep, me neither.
The funny thing though? Today was a pretty awful day (there were plenty of tears, most of them not from the kids) and I sat down to write this in a fit of despair.
So why is it I’ve come out of it feeling awesome?? Yes I’m sure it was cathartic but not only that…. I realised that through every letter of the alphabet, I was smiling. Smiling at the memories of the cheeky times. The times that have led to T2 regularly giggling “Cheeky madam!” as I chase her, The times T1 has frowned at me and said “Naughty girl!”
What would my life be without them? Not freedom, but nothing. Nothing at all.